Last night, I went to the Election Night party of Linnea Noreen, Independent candidate for the 7th Washington Congressional district. She ran against the infamous Democratic incumbent "Baghdad" Jim McDermott and Republican Steve Beren. These results were taken from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
U.S. House - District 7 - 218 of 696 Precincts Reporting
Name Party Votes Pct
McDermott, Jim (i) Dem 90,903 79.62
Beren, Steve GOP 17,858 15.64
Noreen, Linnea Ind 5,406 4.74
So why did Linnea get my vote? The first reason is that after reading my voter pamphlet and checking out her positions on her website, I thought she was the candidate who was the most qualified and whose views were the most similar to mine. The second reason is I admired that someone my age who represented my values was willing to put a mortgage on her condo to run an independent campaign against an entrenched and admired incumbent.
When I vote, I read up on each candidate and if I think the person is the best one for the job, regardless of party, I will vote for them. This means that I end up voting for a lot of third-party candidates. Some people think I am throwing my vote away, but I prefer to think of it that I vote for the candiate I want, not out of misguided loyalty to one party or fear of another.
Last night as Linnea's party was winding down, one of the regulars at the bar started talking to Linnea, asking her why she would run even though she had no chance to win. She said, among other things, to show people that they had a choice. This guy she was talking to didn't feel like he had a choice-he HAD to vote for McDermott and the Democrats. When the so-called fourth estate portrays the choice as a binary one-the news ticker didn't even show her name-it is a hard task to get people to think outside the box. But how are we going to create the future if we keep on reelecting most of the same people to the same offices and refusing to consider candidates with innovative ideas?
Don't get me wrong, I had a great time at the party. It was tons of fun to go Downtown, have a couple of gin and tonics and hang out with a congressional candidate. When she spoke to her supporters it also really hit me that this was not the end of her campaign, but the beginning of a long and successful political career.
Final certified results, 11/28/06
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT NO. 7
Ballots Cast/Registered Voters: 253579 / 376434 67.36%
Poll Precincts Counted/Total Poll Precincts: 1105
/ 1105 100.00%
United States Representative Congressional District No. 7
Jim McDermott DEM 195462 79.20%
Steve Beren REP 38715 15.69%
Linnea S. Noreen I 11956 4.84%
Write-in 656 0.27%